Young Guns Reflections: Studio AH-HA

Looking back with past Young Guns winners


Young Guns 15 is here! The global competition that shines a spotlight on creative superstars 30 years of age and under — is finally open for submissions! Once again, we are calling out to all creatives with at least two years of stellar professional work to enter.

Meet Carolina Cantante and Catarina Carreiras, the dynamic duo who make up Lisbon, Portugal’s Studio AH-HA. The crazy-talented team opened up their communication and graphic design studio in 2011, and four years later, they were among the winners of Young Guns 13.

We had a chance to chat with Studio AH-HA, looking back on their Young Guns experience.


Lisbon, Portugal
Young Guns 13 Winners

In one sentence, what does being a Young Guns winner mean to you?

Amongst a myriad of things, it all comes down to representing a tap on the shoulder that says you are on the right track.

What made you want to enter Young Guns in the first place?

We always looked up Young Guns winners. It is one of the few awards we believe in. It recognizes potential, not just ideas, and that’s crucial for a young creative. It’s less of a business, and more of a reward, a career recognition and a community. The best part of it for us is that we won on our first attempt. Some other Young Guns, truly talented people, took two or more years. and we won.

Why is it so important to recognize the creative excellence of young professionals?

Like we mentioned earlier, it’s all about recognising potential. To award an idea is easy, but it’s also much more dubious. To award the capacity of thinking and building great ideas is harder, but it can also generate more impact in a creative community. It’s giving a vote of trust, a push, a wink. And in the beginning of any career, with all the doubts and insecurities that come with it, this can be a deal breaker. It will surely empower the winners to aim for more.

In your experience, how has being a part of this vibrant, creative Young Guns community helped you in your career?
It’s great to be part of such a community. We wish we could be more involved and enjoy the perks of being a Young Guns winner based  in New York, but we love to be part of the stardust!

What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on that came as a result of being a Young Guns winner?

There was one client who approached us because we won Young Guns — Biocol Labs, who are 100% born and raised in Portugal. We have been collaborating with them full-time since we’ve won, and it’s one of our most challenging, crazy, hard to achieve, and yet favorite projects.

What would you say to encourage people to participate in Young Guns 15?

I think the best thing we can say is to be true to your work and vision, because in the end, if you win, that’s what you want to be recognized for. And besides,New York is the best place to pick up an award!

Young Guns 15 is now open for entries. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2017.